Neighbourhood Planning in North Dorset
The Localism Act 2011 introduced the right for communities to draw up Neighbourhood Plans for their areas.
Neighbourhood planning allows communities to come together (through a parish council or neighbourhood forum) to have more of a say on the future of the places where they live and work. A neighbourhood plan or order must still be produced within the framework of National Planning Policy and the North Dorset Local Plan - 2011 to 2026 Part 1.
Support, advice and funding
An increase in neighbourhood planning activity means that there are now nine neighbourhood plans currently in production, covering 13 parishes within North Dorset. This has lead to the appointment of a full time neighbourhood planning officer, the first in Dorset, to provide planning advice and help communities to develop neighbourhood plans and produce the background studies needed to support their local policies. Neighbourhood plans can only be adopted following an examination in public and a local referendum. Support will also be given to help communities take their plans through these processes.
The government awarded a contract on 14 March 2013 to Locality in partnership with the Royal Town Planning Institute, Planning Aid England and partners to deliver a new £9.5 million, 2-year programme to support communities to progress their neighbourhood development plans and neighbourhood development orders. The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has announced that there will be a new programme for supporting neighbourhood planning starting in 2015 and they are currently seeking a partner to deliver this programme. Further information is available from the Locality webpage (opens in a new window).
Neighbourhood planning guidance
We are busy producing a series of Neighbourhood Planning guidance notes intended to assist groups in the preparation of their Neighbourhood Plans. The first three guidance notes on the importance of having a clear vision and objectives, the practical process for designating Local Green Spaces and an updated list of Neighbourhood Planning webpages (signposting) have been finished.
- North Dorset neighbourhood area application and designation
Town and Parish Councils and Neighbourhood Forums will need to apply to North Dorset District Council in order to designate a neighbourhood plan area.
- North Dorset Neighbourhood Plans - Strategic Environmental Assessment
A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is required under European legislation for all plans which may have a significant effect on the environment.